What the best bone for your dog, and what is the best for your budget? In this article, we will explore what your options are for you and your pet. Dogs love chew toys -- they can provide hours and hours of entertainment for your dog and are a great option for keeping energetic or anxious dogs entertained.
Before we begin, a word of caution: One of the most commonly available and cheapest options for dog bones are rawhides, but they are generally considered the riskiest option. Some dogs that are aggressive chewers may break off chunks of rawhide and swallow them whole, which poses a choking hazard and can cause digestive issues and blockages. There are horror stories online about dogs getting stomach torsion from rawhides. It is worth noting that USA made rawhides are generally considered to be much higher in quality than other rawhides. If your dog chews rawhides slowly then it is probably a safe option for your pet -- just be sure to remove the rawhide once it is small enough that it could be swallowed whole. If your dog is an aggressive chewer and is trying to break the rawhide into pieces, then rawhides are probably not the best option for them.
The categories for dog bones include: Raw Bones, Antlers, and manufactured bones.
Raw bones used to be considered the best option -- please note that cooked bones are dangerous to your dog and should never be fed to your pet because cooked bones are much softer and will splinter, causing choking hazards. Raw bones, on the other hand, are much harder and will not splinter the way that cooked bones do.
Antlers, like raw bones, have also traditionally been considered a great natural option for dogs.
Nylabones, a popular toy option are also widely popular.
However, none of these options pass the thumbnail test -- according to WebMD, "If you push your thumbnail into a treat and it leaves a mark, that’s a safe treat. If it doesn’t, the treat is too hard for a dog to safely chew."
The problem is the risk in tooth injuries and digestive injuries -- if the bone is too hard, which raw bones, antlers, and nylabones are, then an aggressive chewing dog may chip their teeth or swallow sharp fragments.
In my personal experience, I stopped giving my dogs raw bones because I started noticing chipped teeth and bleeding gums from my overly excitable chewers. I have friends whose dogs loved Nylabones so much that they wound up needing dental surgery from chewing too much.
So what can dogs chew? Soft chew toys are the answer! They come in many varieties and I guarantee your dog will love you just as much and their teeth and digestive health will thank you for it. Here are some excellent soft chew toy options.
If you don't have one of these yet, what are you waiting for? These kong toys are practically a basic need for your pet -- every dog should have one. They are long-lasting, fun to bounce, fun to chew, and fun to insert treats into! You can stuff it with peanut butter for a long lasting treat for your dog, and you can freeze the peanut-butter stuffed kong for an even longer lasting treat!
KONG's come in a few different sizes and rubber hardness to accommodate different sized dogs and power chewers. We recommend choosing one that best fits the jaw size ( not necessarily the weight) of your pup.
Sophia Zey has two large rescue dogs.